We have heard a lot of talk about Sargents Mesa. On the elevation profile it looks relatively tame. It rolls and never climbs for more than 5-10min. However, the surface is anything but smooth. It is basically a 20 something mile rock garden. We had been hyping this day up in our heads as the “queen stage” so we were keen to put it behind us. We got off to an early start and started pushing on. As we started getting into the meat of the segment I couldn’t help but realize how similar this was to the east coast rocks I grew up riding. If you have every ridden in central PA all you have to do to simulate the effort on Sargents Mesa is pretend your up at 12k feet and voila (so breathe through a straw). Oh yeah, and in our case at about 60lbs of gear to your sled. Cracked but alive, we made it through and dropped down to a faster rally segment of the trail, which brought us into the San Juan region. Then we hit our biggest wilderness go-around, which took us through the middle of ranch country and the middle of nowhere. We grinded gravel for 15 miles or so before calling it a night 9 miles before the top of Los Pinos Pass.